The Practicality of Consumption.

Money carries a lot of weight where ever it goes. It is respected across borders, cultures, and ideologies. It compromises principals just the same as it inspires great accomplishments. It is said to be the root of all evil and in its pursuit, many atrocities have been committed in its name. It has been worshipped as life itself and to some life is deemed not worthy of living without it. The mystique is real because the perception and value placed upon it are so very real. It is the basis of operation in modern society, but its use is still not understood by the multitudes of people who stalk and chase it in their daily pursuits. The time and effort spent in its acquisition is often not reflected in the time and thought given in its consumption and how it is spent. Money is the basis of existence in a material world and can bring riches and favor beyond its face value even if it can’t buy you, love(?). Make no mistake about it money is power and respect, the more money you have the more of each you will receive.

Ever stop to wonder about the value and power of money, it has no value, it is a measurement representative of value, but has no value other than that perceived and manufactured to be accepted as an assigned worth or denomination. That is where its power is in the acceptance and significance placed upon it. The ruling power or government assigns a value that is accepted as a unit of exchange or buying power replacing a bartering system to regulate the consistency of value. It basically replaced trading cows and livestock for goods and services. Before money wealth was judged in a much different way mostly by how much livestock or land one owned. As time progressed and personal services were offered money was the exchanged consideration used as payment to establish a uniform value for services by its acceptance in exchange. It is a matter of supply and demand, determined by is who has it and how badly does someone else wants it.

Money is known as currency because it is expected to “circulate” as a unit of trade equivalent to the value of your time and effort. That is where the gift and the curse lie depending on which end of the currency you are on, the giving end or the receiving end. We are conditioned to accept that the power is all on the giving end but that is not an absolute truth. Those on the giving end have consolidated a position superior to yours because they have something that you want, and you must meet their expectation to receive it. Once it is received then the “flow” changes and the power switches because now they need to put it back into the system in order for the system to survive, their wealth to increase, and the cycle to continue. You earn it, they pay you, and you spend it back into the system starting the process all over again. Money like water must circulate or flow to remain fresh and a current of electricity must flow to produce power but when stagnant becomes a hazard, so it is with currency or money.

The circulation is the key to the value, the velocity of turnover, but since the source of money is much smaller than the need to get it there is a small window of transfer of power and the collective power of the “flow” must be concentrated for the impact to be felt. The effectiveness is not in spending it but in where and how you spend it as well as what you spend it on. The economic strength is in the fist and not the fingers for economic impact to be felt and concessions to be offered or demanded. Smart money will offer concessions prior to being adversely influenced but the majority will only bend to the inevitable when left no other monetary choice.

I once held a job that I liked very much but it was not economically feasible for me and promotions and pay raises seemed to elude me forcing me to seek other opportunities. When it became known that I intended to leave and I gave my two weeks’ notice, only then were offers made to retain me only because I was leaving. I did not have the same value to that entity until it threatened their objective. I still left because I felt that if I was as valued as they now claimed then why was I not straightened out before now to give me what I deserved in order to retain a so-called valued employee. The same is true with buying power. Many consumers have been refused accommodations which would be goodwill and good business practices until they threaten cancellation, then customer retention can offer you a much better deal to keep you. The question is what were they doing to you before if this was available to you but withheld? Cell phone and cable companies were good for such practices in which consumer dissatisfaction gave rise to other alternatives to address the problem and created the competition that had not existed before.

I state that to state if you feel a void will exist for a product, service, or quality of a product then history and economics have proven that someone will create and most likely improve upon that product to meet consumer satisfaction and expectations. Whatever you can’t do without; ask yourself how did you get by before it and what if it became unavailable what would you do? It is most likely a matter of convenience but mostly a preference rooted in status and prestige as a psychological separation elevating your self-worth. That elevation is externally influenced making your economic decisions habitual rather than rational. If any manufacturer of clothing, went out of business you would simply find another manufacturer to your liking. Current trends often make the decisions for you, but why can’t you make the decision for yourself of how and where you spend your money? How you spend your money should be a direct reflection of what you had to do to get it and what is the value of what you spend it on.

There is a huge difference between cost and price. At what cost will you surrender to pay the price of what you want. If you feed it, it will grow and if you starve it will wither or adapt. That is the power of how you spend your money collectively to feed that which feeds your needs outside of the purchase itself to indicate that they gratefully recognize that you have other choices and personal value. If you do not recognize or more sadly do not exercise your choice, then what incentive do they have to value your economic voice or their disregard of it. The strength of the intertwined vine or collective voice is the “bottom line” language that is spoken all around the world and in all languages, financial survival speaks loudly and causes economic mountains to yield.

Why would you enrich those who have offended you or your culture when they stand categorically opposed to your interest except to receive your money? This is funding the opposition and reinforcing their disregard for your voice in addition to assuming an entitlement to your money because you refuse to sever a dysfunctional and abusive consumer affiliation. This is functionally funding your opposition and fueling their continued resistance to your significance. Old heads knew this and would often state they would not spend their money with those that did not support their interest or respect their person or culture. This has evolved from a personal or cultural resistance to include ideological resistance. Those who offend your ideology should not be supported or patronized to encourage their opposition to your existence.

A prime example is the Washington professional football team who have for many years has still refused to change their offensive name but would declare they do not embrace racism. They don’t embrace racism, they are a symbol of it. All those who patronize them, do business with them, or freely sign with them are complicit in their racism and are the reason they can continue it because there is no fiscal accountability. Civil discord has not gotten it done simply because the Indigenous People, the true forefathers of this land, didn’t have the economic power to fiscally force a change. Aunt Jemima, phonetically ain’t that yo momma, has been recognized as offensive, and despite her endearment to millions of breakfast tables she has finally reached retirement age. They could no longer risk the fiscal fallout and moral objections among Black folks and those whose ideology would no longer condone it. It moved them to suddenly examine the true costs and move in their best interests.

The same support and ideology should be extended to support those native to this land whose voices are muffled as once were such groups as the LBGT community, domestic violence victims, and others.

We cannot discount grievances based on race, but we must also embrace grievance based on ideology to raise the tide for all oppressed humanity especially those in our midst who we have thoughtlessly contributed to the oppression of. Like many cultures, the Indigenous People too have been through a lot and should be shown some love and respect by utilizing the power of our collective economic flow. To support degradation is to support their continued oppression, the original sin, and the exploitation of this country that has gone on far too long. It is way past time for a correction.

You should spend your money were your core values and decency are reflected and if change cannot be provoked then fiscal support should be withdrawn. The flow of money is the twist of the arm that receives the most immediate and comprehensive adjustments. The fiscal survival of these entities that support systemic racism, whether public or private depends on our “flow” of currency and our silent agreement to continue hurting the collective good. The flow or circulation must be strategically directed or removed. Money like blood circulates and lack of circulation leads to amputation or death. The focus of economic power is the most efficient and effective tactic because it forces a voluntary change to sustain their survival. It has been proven to work because it is what has been used against us.

Moral of the story < The queen of soul said it best when she SANG “R E S P E C T find out what it means to me”. When there is no respect for me or my culture then you must get paid by those who agree with you, never by those who you oppose. The personal fiscal policy and funding by those who sincerely reject racism and discrimination against whatever historically marginalized and exploited group should be to listen to that group about remedies and redirect their collective resources to accomplish the removal of those restrictions. Propaganda and atrocities have been committed and it is true that perhaps the worst has been committed in days gone by, but that does not justify the continuation of discrimination and privileged entitlement by those who are now living. By your participation, you are roundly condemned, and by its continuation, you condemn yourself just as those before you have been. Put this shameful past behind you, not by denial and misconceptions but acknowledgment and realization of remedies. The weapon of a fair labor/wage movement and the persuasion of the people’s economic patronage when focused ensures your money should never go where your influence can not go.

P.S. Please reconsider these fashions, designers, and manufacturers that have been overtly offensive. I am sure there are others who make quality products that deserve the chance and your business. To wear and be seen in these costumes shows the psychological dependency and cost you are willing to pay for prestige or status. When they show you who they are, believe them, and spend where you are respected, and can be respected. If you must then you get it started, it has to start somewhere, be a trendsetter. Be the straw that stirs the drink!

Thurston K. Atlas

Creating A Buzz


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